The Smiling Man
- Feb 14, 2006
Just a few things before starting:
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- This thread will stay open for a week, at which point it will close and the week's winner chosen.
“I still remember the day I decided to do this. My loving mother and dearest, darlingest father, I wonder if you've bothered to try to figure out why yet. Have you sat down and realized what you did wrong? Or are you still the same, even now? Do you still blame me for ever little thing?
Well, I'm going to give you something to blame me for, alright. The brave heroes can't have their names tarnished, can they? I'm shocked you haven't killed me yet. Maybe you're too weak. Maybe I'm too strong. I can't really say I care. It serves my purpose, nonetheless.
I could care less about what the idiot masses think of you. They're all goldfish, truly. Bread and circuses and they're assuaged. I'm not after your stupid little puppets, but I'm not out to defend them either, like you wanted. Like you pretend to do.
I'm out for you. I'll see you soon.
Your disappointment of a daughter”
Name: Angelica Cadence
Appearance: Angelica bore a very strong resemblance to her father. The same blond hair, the same bright blue eyes, and a skin tone just a little lighter. Her face was the same heart shape as her mother's, and her hair was style to resemble her mother's as well. She was petite, but far from delicate. There was never any doubt what family she belonged to.
She's since died her hair black and cut it messily, and as she grew older, she turned out much less developed than her mother was, which she is grateful for. She wears shorts and simple shirts, as opposed to the uniforms she wore in the days of her youth.
What stayed the same and always will are the physical characteristics of her race- most notably, you could tell that species by their eyes. They are of a solid color except for a black crescent in them. This means little for their actually ability to see; it mostly just marks their race's creatures.
History: Angelica comes from a very wealthy, well-known family, of a once extinguishing race of humanoids very gifted in light manipulation. In a world once full of constant warfare among not only different areas but also different races, her ancestor apparently brought peace and stability. She never understood the story well enough to remember exactly how, but she was regarded as the worlds' angel and savior for the small remainder of her life.
Thus, her entire lineage was thought to be the world's hope, the ones most qualified to rule.
So, for reasons Angelica didn't fully understand, she was next in line to rule the world. For reasons Angelica was never told, one person had the right to rule the world. Their once dying race was now the majority of the capitol's population, and the strongest of their race had to prove themselves to marry the heir before the throne was passed on.
Angelica never questioned it. She was always just a carefree girl, taught everything she'd need to know to one day rule in her parent's footsteps. She was taught self-defense, which, of course, included how to kill as well as how to fight back (“Just in case,” her father had said). She was taught academics and governance as well, although she noticed a view incongruities in her history book once. (She was wrong, apparently, teacher knows best.) She was arranged to be married to someone she didn't care for, but it was for the good of the country, right? She was always taught to do what was good.
That's how she viewed everything they did. They were good, and bad... bad didn't even exist in the world. Wild animals who didn't know right from wrong were the closest thing to it. So, one day Angelica got the idea to find one of these wild animals and see if they could be taught. Her parents wouldn't have it, but if nothing else, Angelica was a stubborn little princess. It was hard, and took a month of failed attempts, but Angelica finally managed to flee the castle and the capitol and don a disguise.
Without a map or a proper teleportation spell under her belt, she got lost rather quickly in the wilderness, but luckily there were towns and civilization spread quite densely throughout the land. While hunting down a phoenix and seeing trying to capture it and discipline it to be her pet and know right from wrong, she was ambushed by a group of rebels.
Rebels... against the leaders? Her parents? Angelica had enough common sense to keep her identity a secret after she found out what they were against, but that didn't stop her from insulting their intelligence for defending brainless animals or being against the perfect, selfless rulers of the capital. She went so far as to ask if they were raised by animals and therefore had no idea of what good and bad even were. Obviously, that nearly got her killed, since even if she was a skilled fighter, she couldn't take on a whole group. Most of them planned on leaving her there, since they didn't seem to have it in them to actually finish the job, but one of the boys- a teenager- stayed stared down at her pityingly, telling the rest of the group he would meet up with them later.
“What? Here to laugh some more? I am a strong warrior... You scum! You, you vermin! You...” Angelica muttered every insult she could while she tried to push herself back onto her feet.
“You really believe all the shit you've been fed? Living in the capitol city, probably raised to marry a prince and hold us under your thumb?”
“I hate you scum, you're no better than animals!”
“How old are you, ten? I feel sorry for you.”
Angelica was about to argue that she didn't need his sympathies, but she fell unconscious from exhaustion. She woke up with a start the next day, not sure where she was. It took her a while to even register that the boy was next her asleep in a chair while she was laying in a bed.
Although she seriously considered attacking him, she thought better of the plan and tried to sneak out instead. Someone was blocking the door, though, and fixing a sharp glare on her. She almost thought this was an animal, but it was simply a member of one of the baser races. She couldn't have killed him even if she tried to, then, since he was not the only one keeping watch. When she learned that they were keeping her so she wouldn't reveal the rebel's plan, she tried again to fight her way out, and again failed miserably. The commotion awoke the boy, who quickly calmed the other rebels and, failing to calm the girl, allowed the others to forcibly restrain her.
She remained difficult even as they offered to let her join. She wasn't treated unfavorably, per se (if only because the teenage boy stepped in to defend her), but the lies she was being fed about the unfairness and crime going around because of the capitol's rule was really getting on her nerves. When she asked why they didn't just kill her like the savages they were, the boy laughed and explained that he felt too sorry for her, and, admittedly, one of her kind would be a big help to the rebellion. Even if it was one as stubborn and pugnacious as she. She didn't respond well to that, either.
But for all her fighting and disagreements, even after she starting warming up to the rebels and they started warming up to her, she refused to believe the capitol and the rulers were anything less than perfect until they took her to actually see some the rest of the capitol. She witnessed officials from her home cities, officials she knew personally, kill people because they were accused of kidnapping the princess. She moved to step forward to reveal that no one killed her, but the boy- who she'd learned by now was name Derrick, held her back, saying these injustices didn't need her being gone as a reason; that was just their current justification. When he noticed her shocked expression, he just told her that she wasn't an ordinary citizen of the capitol and that they all knew that by now.
After seeing everything her parents had allowed, she asked to return to her city and confront them. Some of the rebels didn't trust that she would keep quiet about their location, but Derrick offered to escort her back personally and make sure she didn't reveal a single thing.
As it turned out, Angelica really needed the guide- she still got lost easily on the way home. When she arrived, though, she regretted ever bringing him along, since the guards took him and tried to imprison him on the spot for his “crime”. Even as the princess ordered his release, she was ignored and taken back to her castle. Her parents seemed to have been beside themselves with worry, but Angelica refused to so much as touch them without an explanation. She had been afraid they would lie, but the fact that sat there and tried to justify what they allowed- what they paid their soldiers to do- all in the name of politics and power simply infuriated her. Those were people out there that were affected by this, and they refused to let go of how their own race had been treated in the past.
Angelica only asked were her friend was now, and though her parents laughed at the idea of some boy from the brutish race of his being her friend, they told her he was executed for her kidnapping already. As if they knew their daughter would think them a liar, they had his head brought in on a platter.
It was then that she cut her hair, and although it was hard, she'd learned enough from the rebels to escape the castle guards. Not enough to take on her parents, though- they had made it painfully obvious when she tried to do so that she was nowhere near their level of magic. She hadn't laid a finger on them by the end of the fight.
So she ran. She rebels were reluctant to accept her back, and even after all these years, several do not trust her loyalty, but she had to make it up to Derrick. And she had to stop her parents. Had to show them they were wrong. And since they knew exactly what they were doing, she was going to have to take them from power, plain and simple.
Regardless of what the loyal citizens of her city thought of her before- or maybe even more so because of their thoughts- Angelica was not going to be what her parents had been raising her to be. By now, she was the opposite of the little girl who stumbled into all of this.
Currently, she's one of the highest in command of the rebels, although they refuse to let her be the leader for numerous reasons.
Personality: After deciding to side with the rebels against her parents, Angelica's personality did a complete turn. It was immediate, but slowly she became the virtual opposite of the girl she was in her youth. Much less accepting of things without proof, very cautious, relatively humble, and much more wise and quiet, if a bit sarcastic. She is very mature and, although proud of her skills and her strength, knows when to choose her battles and when to let it go. When in a leadership position, she will do what she can to protect all of her followers and would risk her own safety before any of theirs. When she has to follow, she is likely to go against parts of any plan she sees as flawed without letting others know, out of caution more so than arrogance. Much of the wide-eyed excitement she once had has left her, and she is much colder and more morbid than she once was. The only time she would let her anger get the best of her is when her parents are involved.
Abilities: As a fighter, Angelica has grown very skilled. Without the royal tutors and their books, she has not managed to learn a lot of the “holy” magic that her parents boast, but she has learned a wide variety of other magics and is much more physically capable now.
The black and red robed servants gave their Dusk Chant, hoods pulled over their heads as they strode, the highest of their order in the Cathedral -save him - allowing a crystal lamp to sway, as it might, with his steps.
As the fiery reddish-orange rays of the setting sun descended into the grandiose sanctuary through the high windows, they mattered little to her. She strode with purpose, the soft shoes that all of this order wore making no sound upon the black and white checkered marble. The robes that marked her status as a servant were clean of all refuse, and muttered softly of her movement, as she continued past the praise-singers.
Walking past the dais, crafted of an unknown metal, depicting a simple scene of a woodland meadow, Lillith de Requesciat made as if to stop and view it as many did during the day - to kneel before the ancient piece of art, to weep in sheer joy of the stone's scene. Those who had defiled the stone - for no civilization was truly perfect - they were banished from society, and sent to serve Mirkhan Sei'dar. It was he who reigned over the Cathedral, and in his blind youth, had been the one who had carved the delicate woodland upon the metal.
"Before you deign to ask, Lady de Requesciat, it was accomplished when I was a slave to the Masters of Erul. The Stone - though it is, in reality, a perfect cube of iron - took me two years to accomplish what you, and thousands of others, view when they walk underneath this vaulted ceiling. It took me a year to grow accustomed to, and figure out how to 'see' in my blindness, as well as devise a method in which to show those I dug with every day in the sand the true vision I saw." The glowing, pure white eyes of the Sarz'tien loomed at her from underneath the pulled up cowl of sinful velvet, staff in hand. Sei'dar walked towards her, motioning to the artwork as he spoke.
"When I was taken, they blinded me to ensure that I could not harm them with my magic. As time progressed, this Stone was uncovered. I can still remember when I first touched it with my hands, this tiny shard of light within the darkness. . ." Mirkhan's words drifted as he seemed to live once more his youth. "The Slave-Masters were shocked to find it, and for several of them I heard of suicide. Paxus Drex only had us work harder in the scorching heat."
"Though we found the Stone in this sulphrous, searing land, it brought the ocean's wrath. We were given rations of bread and water, sometimes other delicacies if one was a spy for another Slave-Master. With what little water in my drinking rations I was given by Paxus Drex, I achieved much. I learned to see."
"In a year, I carved, little by little, using the magic born within me, and the water itself - a flowing conduit of nature - to carve this, the last sight I remember before the Slave-Masters came to enslave my homeland. In my blindness, embracing this technique , I drove an entire legion of slaves to their knees in divine sorrow. They saw lush forests of evergreen, the babbling brooks and streams and rivers, the vibrancy of life - on an inhuman cube of metal in the middle of a godforsaken desert."
"Paxus Drex, the most influential, if not the most powerful of the Slave-Masters, chose to attempt to destroy the Stone and its depiction. His sword broke, and he was torn to pieces by slaves for attempting to destroy that which had brought them hope in despair. They went on bury the remainder of the Slave-Masters, and their armies, into the sands. The Shattered Blade of Paxus Drex was taken and kept in a chest - it is on display in the Halls of History, beneath the Cathedral."
The Sarz'tien began his evening walk towards the great bronze doors at the Cathedral's entrance, to lock them shut, as Lady de Requesciat strode by him, ever inquisitive.
"Such a tale deserves to be remembered, Sei'dar. Perhaps-" Lillith de Requesciat began, though Mirkhan cut her off.
"I would prefer that those who desired to understand, knew only from my words. The ludicrous minstrels and singers, as you and your brother Marquis know, enjoy bending the truth to suit their purses. And I would simply despise having packs of ignorant peasantry venturing in here only to disturb - in their loud oafishness - those who wish to be left in the quaint, peaceful silence, to meditate and view the Stone. And, with that, it is time for supper."
The bronze doors, all three sets of two doors easily eight feet tall and nine feet high, shut with a wave of the Sarz'tien's hand, banishing the now arriving night to remain outside the Cathedral, as a single Servant came to light the crystal lamps.
Mirkhan passed the Stone a last time for the night, thin fingers stroking the ever-warm metal cube, and he departed its presence.
Drifting through space and time, on a planet of the mind, two beings were locked in combat that transcends reality. Though not of sword or steal, nor arcane or curse, the battle would define the course of the universe, both past and future. One fought to maintain the integrity of the universe, while the other fought to rend it asunder.
The first, who preformed the work of the King, held in his hand a golden scale, and with it fought to bring balance to the universe and peace among its inhabitants. He was gowned in a robe of white and gold, and in it was sewn the fabric of creation and design. Around his golden hair sat a crown of leaves taken from The Tree which branches once bore fruits of knowledge. He sought control and law, for he was Order.
The second, who preformed the work of a man that smiled, held in his hand the world, and disaster struck wherever his fingers lay. When he spoke, fire rose from his lips and burned the hearts of man, flinging them into rage and war. His eyes were blinded and he could not see, making his actions truly random and without prejudice. He sought death and destruction, for he was Chaos.
The two stood across from each other, the rings of time, space, oblivion, and eternity slowly spinning around the tiny planetoid that pinned together the fabric of the cosmos. As the rings passed eachother, a loud, dull chime sounded, which unleashed a wave across the fabric of the cosmos that subtly altered the lining and make-up of the universe.
"What shall we do then, eh?" Chaos chimed, repositioning his finger on the Earth. A large explosion erupted over a small, island nation in the Pacific. "A pleasant walk, mayhap? Or we could always play a little game of catch."
"Still your tongue, you worthless creature." Order responded, his voice calm and cold. "I will have nothing to do of you except see you wiped from existence."
"Ah, so that your precious king might rule with a tight-handed grasp? So that everything falls where it is supposed to?" Chaos parted his lips to form a black smile. "Nay, I will not disappear from this existence nor will I falter in the duties bestowed upon me by my master."
"Your master?" Order narrowed his golden orbs. "You mean that smiling fool who calls himself a god? That pitiful creature that was birthed from the filth of evil?" The scales slightly tipped to the left. "My king will see that smudge wiped from his fabric."
"Ah, Order, you tunnel-visioned dog. Why do you still oppose me so?"
"Because you disrupt. You bring hate to the heart of men. You rain destruction upon all you touch."
The rings lined up directly overhead, sounding a heavy chime. Waves shook the small planetoid, small strings of reality unravelling from the fabric. The strings wove themselves back into fabric, twisting and looping deep into the make-up of the cosmos.
"Ah, Order, it would seem it is time yet again."
"Indeed it does. Then to battle we go, Chaos."
"Aye, to battle."